Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Joss Whedon, who late last spring set the blockbuster tone for summer with the May release of The Avengers, will venture further into the warm weather season with his next film — this time aiming for the counter-programming buck. Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate have set a June 7 opening for Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon’s contemporized adaptation of the William Shakespeare play. The film will open that day in five markets and then broaden out June 21.

It isn’t a Marvel superhero all-star team, but they’ve got at least two rabid fan bases to market to: Joss and The Bard. The film was well received when it premiered this fall at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s a contemporary spin on the tale of sparring lovers that offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love. Whedon shot it in 12 days, probably for less than what The Avengers wardrobe department spent on spandex.